Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Mo in India

aglimpseoflondon is taking a break for 6 weeks while I carry out a photograph project in India.  I will be blogging and tweeting regularly (internet connection willing) about the work and the wonderful children of the DHAN Karunai Illam.

Pop over here:
 or follow twitter @MoatDKI

for the duration of the project.   Thanks.  Mo

Monday, 7 November 2016

A Peek at the River

Some places along the Thames its not so easy to see a full view of the river.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Ted goes global

… everyone knows about Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre right … well do you know about the Globe Tavern another homage to the Bard a few minutes’ walk from the Theatre.

It’s had a chequered history of course as have many of the places south of the Thames or “the river” as the locals say. The building came out unscathed from the 1901 expansion of the Railway arches across Borough Market and has just recently emerged from an exterior clean and make over looking stunning and very much a well-preserved piece of its time and place in history. Now of course the ground level bar serves very on trend craft beer and a range of hand distilled gins. But it’s upstairs where the real gem lays, so far known only to a handful of real appreciators of good food and wine … so to my own detriment I may be letting the cat out of the bag here. Luke Hawkins does chefing things in the handsome space that is the restaurant upstairs at the Globe and he’s got “previous form” having worked in the kitchens of some of the big names in the UK food scene. Here and now he’s stamping his own mark in a most delicious way.
Autumn is here and winter is knocking on the door so what better excuse could there be for a trip upstairs at the Globe for a late Sunday lunch. A small very simply described (finally and thank goodness) menu … but I wanted everything … would I have cauliflower, date, yeast and vacherin or game terrine with quince jelly or the calf’s brains with capers, parsley and sourdough? The Doll opted for red snapper with pepper and courgette and pronounced it delicious and cooked by someone who “understood cooking fish”. My cauliflower was an amazing burst of flavour followed by a deep savoury love affair.

On Sundays in the UK of course it’s always about roast lunches (or dinner as some regions call it). Luke naturally offers this but more importantly he also provides other options on his 4 choices main menu. Squash, pearly barley, goats curd and sage for the vegetarians of this world and seabass, mussels, kale and white wine sauce. I went for the roast beef and it was perfectly rare and succulent as beef should be … reminding the usual accompaniments that no matter how good they are that “I’m the MAIN course”. 

What could I do then other than follow it up with ginger cake, poached pears and clotted cream for desert. The wine list is similarly small and perfectly formed … including some good pudding wines. This is food and beverage loved in tandem … and now I’ve just given away something that TripAdvisor will never appreciate …    

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016

Art and Science

This is the original mobile phone battery.  Truly!  Look at the size of your mobile phone fitting as it does in the palm of your hand, and lets look at its origins, and imagine trying to explain the concept of wifi to the Victorians.  It all began 150 years ago with the telegraph .. the dot dash dot telex machine.  Those copper tubes are the battery that powered the very first trans-atlantic cable for all those dots and dashes that were sent between the two continents.  It took four attempts and many years to finally lay a working cable. The first one lasted a mere three weeks. There was only one ship big enough to be able to support the weight of the cable that was rolled out on the ocean floor.

The current exhibition at the Guildhall art gallery is a collaboration between artists, curators, scientists, and academics that explores communication.  Stop screwing up your nose at your perception of boring and dusty going up your nostrils, and let me tell you how exciting it really is.

The cream of all the above disciplines got together (that in itself is a wonder) to create an exhibition that explores Distance, Resistance, Transmission, and Coding.  The exhibition includes some extraordinary never-seen-before paintings by Victorian artists as well as rare telegraphic artefacts.

I loved the code books that were used by corporations to keep the content of their telegraphs secret.  The very first version of a firewall and virus checker! Ok so there's a teeny weeny bit of the geek in me.

Students from Kings College have created a wonderful messaging machine - "the great grammatizor" on which you can create your very own coded message. The inspiration for the Kings College students was a story by Roald Dahl. I'm keeping my message a secret for now, but after a few glasses of wine I might reveal its contents. There are several multilayered options for encryption including Shakespeare.  Clearly I went for the full Monty and chose "absurd" as one of my options.

The selection of paintings is truly inspired and some have not been on public display in our lifetime (no matter what age you are).  To really get the best out of this exhibition I totally and utterly recommend that you go on one of the curator talk days.  I'll list the dates below, and giant plus ... they are free!  For me the curator talks turned the exhibition into pure magic.

Exhibition - Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy (open until 22 January 2017)
Venue - Guildhall Art Gallery
Curator talks and tours (free)

Curator talks will be held at the following on the days from 1pm:
  • Thursday 27 October
  • Thursday 24 November
  • Thursday 15 December
  • Thursday 19 January

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Boy and the Busker

"Who wants me to go higher?"  A very enthusiastic lad certainly did.  The best way to entertain kids in the holidays is to just hang about the streets where ever the buskers are.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Theme Day - out of focus

This month's theme for the City Daily Photo community is out of focus.  For me having something out of focus needs to have a purpose.  In my contribution to the theme day, I have used a slower shutter speed to make the people blurry to give a sense of how frenetic and busy London's underground can be.  The stairwell remains sharp so it is obvious the movement is deliberate and not a mistake.  See how others have interpreted the brief here.

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Beadle

The Beadle of the Worshipful Company of Insurers greeting and welcoming members into a function at the Guildhall Art Gallery.  So just what is a Beadle?  The role includes taking care of meeting places as well as organising meetings,  ceremonial and social functions.  Enforcing discipline decided by the court.  It can be summed up as policeman, almoner, friend, social worker and communicator.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Ted is pump’ed

… please don’t tell my “kin” … get it “pumpkin”. Alright alright I’ll keep my day job – or better still I may even get one. One thing is for sure though, I am not very keen on venturing out alone with all this Halloween activity and current mad clown hysteria going on in the UK … it's just too late now ... 

So how did the poor little member of the squash family known fondly by elderly Aunts (with whole bedside cabinets full of “regifting” soap and handkerchiefs just waiting for a child’s birthday opportunity … but I digress) as Cucurbita Pepo, get involved in quite frankly scary shit.  

Essentially it got itself into all this trouble simply by the colour of its skin - oh how the world moves on … orange being the colour of celebration for the days of the dead in Mexico, when those that have departed this mortal coil (adults and children) are remembered and given gifts and food for another year in the afterlife.  The pumpkins' place in modern “European” Halloween is thought to have originated a long time back in Ireland. Pumpkin carvings are supposed to represent the “Jack O’Lantern” a knowledge and tradition that I fear is being quite quickly lost … usurped by scary costumes with a preponderance to blood and more than just a nod to the Friday the 13th movies.

The story goes that Jack was met by the devil and through various tricks, no doubt aided by a surfeit of Irish Whiskey (yes with an “e”) managed to trap the Devil up a tree and made him agree never to take him into hell.  The Devil kept his word and when Jack wasn’t (of course) admitted to Heaven he came to the Devil who threw him a hot hell coal to keep him warm … Knife in hand he looked around for something to put it in that would provide him with light and warmth and scare off predators … enter Cucurbita Pepo for ever more.

Fast forward and today it is an American institution to carve pumpkins into modern day Jack O’Lanterns, and it’s taken rather seriously indeed … this year’s overall winners … wait for it … NASA. Moving immediately forward to a yet another take on Halloween sans pumpkins (in anything but the supporting cast anyway) and it’s none other than Tom Hanks as David S Pumpkins, although the critics have kinda squashed the show.

Last, and certainly missing a few millennia of human evolution, it’s that roadkill wearing Trumpkin … be afraid be very very afraid … for the whole world … 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Reviewing the Event

Clutching their piece of the corn dolly and checking the selfies.  The end of the weeks series on the Apple Festival.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Finale

The finale to the apple festival is to tear the corn dolly apart and throw the pieces to the crowd. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

A Bit of Dancing

No English festival would be complete without the Morris Dancers.  These were the troop that kicked their heels up at the Apple festival.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Monday, 24 October 2016

Apple Day

A relatively modern celebration, Apple Day, was first celebrated in 1990 in Covent Garden. Now it is celebrated every year throughout the country on the weekend closest to the 30th of October.

Characters from much older traditions are commonly found joining in this more modern festival. The GreenMan was spotted at Apple Day festivities yesterday at the Borough Market.  Over the next few days I'll introduce you to a few of the others I spotted celebrating the occasion.
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